Time and the Tapestry: A William Morris Adventure

John Plotz. Bunker Hill, $18.50 (192p) ISBN 978-1-59373-145-8
Plotz’s children’s debut is an ambitious attempt to mix time-travel fantasy with a history lesson about multifaceted artist William Morris and the Arts and Crafts movement of 19th-century England. Focusing on an unfinished tapestry that 14-year-old Jen and 11-year-old Ed’s grandmother received as an apprentice in Morris’s factory, the novel begins with a crisis that propels the orphaned siblings onto the back of a giant blackbird, soaring through the tapestry and into Morris’s life. As the trio embarks on a scavenger hunt (or is it a geas—a quest?) based on fragments of a Morris poem, Jen explores mysterious (and never satisfyingly explained) memories and ponders the significance of art. Filled with scenes that reveal the larger-than-life artist and his family, companions, and many accomplishments, the story never fully takes on a life of its own, seeming, instead, to have been built around Plotz’s considerable knowledge of, and passion for sharing, all things William Morris. Saroff’s elegant full-page b&w illustrations and ornamentations—initial caps, miniatures, and borders—beautifully evoke Morris’s style and are a strong component of the book’s thoughtful design. Ages 9–14. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/17/2014
Release date: 05/01/2014
Genre: Children's
Open Ebook - 192 pages - 978-1-59373-174-8
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